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UT Students Pitch Aquaponics in Business Plan Competition

Published: April 16, 2013
A team of undergraduate students from The University of Tampa will compete against students from 27 other universities around the world this weekend in the third annual Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures™ Business Plan Competition.

The competition, which is held at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, brings college entrepreneurs from around the world to TCU to showcase their ideas for for-profit businesses that make money while making life better. Student teams will be on the TCU campus Friday and Saturday, April 19–20, to present their plans in front of 32 judges.

The UT student team will present Ambrosia Global, a business plan for the design, development, training, implementation and maintenance of sustainable agricultural units called “pods” for food in secure communities in the United States and around the world.

The team consists of Christopher Laganas, Jasmine Rustogi and David Wistocki, UT seniors and entrepreneurship majors who work in the UT Entrepreneurship Center. The team’s advisors include UT professors Rebecca White and David Bechtold, UT alumni Edouard Carrie and Adrien Edwards, as well as Phil Reasons, aquaponics specialist and executive director of Morning Star Fishermen.

The entrepreneurship major at UT is one of the largest on campus and provides students with skills that are critical for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur or think like one.

Competition judges include business owners, CEOs, financiers, bankers and attorneys who provide a solid base of knowledge about the viability of startup businesses. The competition is unique in that it is exclusive to undergraduate students, with the intention to help them fund and launch their companies.

Prizes are $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, $5,000 for third place, $1,000 each for third, fourth and fifth places and honorable mention. In addition, the team out of the original 28 with the most innovative energy-related concept will receive a $5,000 Energy Award, and the team that displays bold thinking and breakthrough ideas will receive a $5,000 Founders Award.

For more information, go to . The competition can be followed on Facebook: , and Twitter: @NeeleySchoolTCU, #tcuvv13.